Eagle County Schools provides updates on graduation, continuation ceremonies
With county COVID-19 restrictions expected to lift on May 27, many of the outdoor ceremonies will continue with no capacity restrictions
Eagle County Schools provided a brief update on graduation at its Wednesday Board of Education meeting. The update falls in line with previous updates that these ceremonies will be “pretty normal.”
After a meeting between the school district and Eagle County Public Health this week, Katie Jarnot, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at Eagle County Schools, provided additional details about the area’s high school graduations and its middle school and elementary school continuation ceremonies at the board meeting.
Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy will be one of the only schools with capacity restrictions at graduation as the ceremony is set to take place on May 21, five days before the county expects to drop its COVID-19 restrictions. The graduation will be held at 4 p.m. at 4 Eagle Ranch near Wolcott.
Because the other district high schools — Red Canyon High School, Battle Mountain High School and Eagle Valley High School — will all host their graduations after May 27, there will not be capacity restrictions, according to Jarnot. The graduation schedule for these schools will be as follows:
- Red Canyon will host its graduation at 10 a.m. May 28 at 4 Eagle Ranch
- Eagle Valley will host its graduation at 9 a.m. on May 29 at the Hot Stuff Stadium
- Battle Mountain will host its graduation at 12 p.m. on May 29. The location for the ceremony has yet to be determined but will be held at either the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail or at the school’s campus.
As these three graduations will be held after COVID-19 restrictions are expected to lift, Jarnot said that while masks will most likely not be required at graduation, they will be highly encouraged as grandparents and other at-risk populations will be in attendance. The schools will also be following state guidance on touch-free or low-touch ceremonies, meaning that there will be no hand shakes at the ceremonies and diploma delivery will look a little different than normal.
“I’ll miss those sweaty palms,” said Kate Cocchiarella, president of the Eagle County School Board.
Also according to Jarnot, the middle school and elementary school continuation ceremonies, if they are outside, will not have any capacity restrictions. Once again, this is because most of these ceremonies will take place after May 28.
There is one known exception, Eagle Valley Middle School, which would normally host its continuation on its football field. However, the football field will be under construction at the time of the ceremony, so the continuation will likely be hosted indoors with some capacity restrictions. The school is working with Eagle County Public Health to maximize the number of guests it can have at the ceremony.
These announcements come as vaccinations continue to roll out across the county, most recently for all those over the age of 16. According to Superintendent Philip Qualman, the age group that includes high school students has the highest percentile of vaccinated persons out of any age group in Eagle County.
Reporter Ali Longwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.